A few days ago, I thought TIIROAC was under attack. I kept getting fairly nonsensical comments to my entries by someone calling themself Mr MA Dilbert. They commented quite frequently, and the comments they left were quite random; it was enough to make me think it was some sort of troll. While part of me thought I should be happy to get some comments for once, it was beginning to piss me off. Then suddenly on Saturday, I got a message from Mr. Diblbert over facebook, explaining who he was. He seemed a very nice fellow, for a Stokie, and I told him he could keep on commenting. Indeed, he has his own fascinating blog here I’m just relieved I don’ have a troll.
I think I need to flag this delightful little film on bbc iplayer up. My parents recommended it during our weekly skype conversation his morning: it’s about a man whose business goes bust, so he has to relocate his family and reopen the fish and chip shop he used to run with his brothers. Thus it is a critique of big business and corporate greed. It also touches upon the Cyprus conflict, which gave it a bit of personal resonance. In fact it interestingly as a lot to say on quite a few contemporary issues. It has a happy ending, though, making it a great watch on a wet sunday afternoon.
There is really not that much I feel I can say about last night. Clarkson, May and Hammond Live was entertaining, but I can’t decide what to make of it. It was essentially a bit like watching an episode of Top Gear interspersed with other car-based acts. These were introduced by the three gentlemen of the title, and were, for the most part, very impressive indeed: there was a performance of precision driving which reminded me of the wheelchair displays that I did at school. Imagine four cars whizzing around the centre of the o2 arena at high speed, choreographed as precisely as any ballet. In between these performances, Clarkson, May and
Hammond basically did the type of things they used to do on the tv – arse about like twits. The banter between them was amusing, although they made a few jibes at the bbc which got a few sympathetic boos from the audience; they also made a big thing of having to avoid saying anything offensive. There were no moments of epic greatness though; nothing that took the night to the level of, say, watching Mont Python Live. Of course, these shows were planned as Top Gear Live, before Clarkson’s fall-out with the beeb; I suppose events since it’s conception caused it to change it’s tone. Thus the show had an odd, kind of edgy tone to it – it felt like there was a kind of elephant in the room, something at which people were angry. I came out of the show entertained, yet with an odd taste in my mouth. It may have contained all the elements I expected, but that was not quite the show I bought tickets for all those months ago.
Ding dong, Shapps has gone;
Well, someone had to take the fall.
Bullying at tory HQ is rife,
But when some poor shmuck takes their life
The press will start to call.
The workings of Milbank are quite clear
”Old boys network, don’t you know?” They don’t like us to pry but when they start to die, one of them has to go.
It’s time we ended this cabal
This elitist party born to rule A party of bullies and toffs who look down at us and scoff
Let’s break up this group of fools.
Tonight will see me at the O2 again, this time to see Top Gear (sorry, Clarkson, May and Hammond) Live. I got the tickets ages ago, before Clarkson’s famous fallout with the beeb. To be honest I’m not sure what to expect: I’ve long been a fan of Top Gear, although some of the things those guys say, some of the attitudes they seem to hold, get to me. I expect the atmosphere there to be heavily masculine; one where physical prowess is valued and where politically-correct liberalism is frowned upon. How I will fit in to this world remains to be seen, but that’s part of what intrigues me. Part of me is worried that something will upset or anger me, that one of those guys will say something I disagree with or I’ll get the hump with the attitude in the audience; but it’ll probably just be good fun of the kind that appeals to the overgrown child in me. As usual, expect a full report on here tomorrow.
I have just rewritten/replaced this entry. In it I said things I had no right to; things which, had they been said about me or Lyn, would have made me furious. The issue had been playing on my mind for weeks, and needed putting to an end. The problem was, the entry aired my concerns over one specific individual, but which, if taken more generally, constituted transphobia. The similarities between what I wrote and outright transphobia like this were too strong for me to let it remain online. I was angry when I wrote that entry, but when will I learn that there are some things that I just shouldn’t write about on here?
Simple minds were great last night. I must admit, I didn’t know much of their music, but that didn’t matter – I still had a whale of a time. Lyn knew more than I did, and, sat next to me, it was obvious that she was thoroughly enjoying herself. It’s always great to go up to the dome; we’re so lucky to have such an awesome place virtually on our doorstep. Plus, given I keep dragging Lyn out to see stuff I want to see, it’s only fair I go to see the stuff that she likes. Not that I didn’t have a good time – by the end of the show I was really getting into it. To see them play eighties classics like Don’t you Forget About Me was very cool indeed. I must admit they weren’t a band tat was high on my ‘to see’ list, but I’m glad I went. I suppose that’s one advantage of being engaged to a musician. We got home about half eleven, both having had a great time, and looking forward to our next gig.
Lyn and I are going to a Simple Minds gig tonight, which we’re both really looking forward to. It’s at the O2, and no doubt it’ll pass without incident. However, I cant help thinking about events of a couple of weeks ago, and what happened at similar gigs in Paris. People there were, like we will be, just out having a good time. I just read that the Eagles of Death Metal, the band playing at the Bataclan that night, now wants to be the first band to play there when it reopens. To me, that’s awesome kind of like saying ”sorry for the interruption guys, where were we?” Although I had never heard of them before his atrocity, and know nothing of their music, I now really want to be at that gig*. Who wouldn’t? What better way is there of showing two fingers (or one, as they’re American) to murderous scum who inflict so much pain?
*Mind you, I don’t know that much about Simple Minds either; but Lyn wants to go, and that’s reason enough to go for me.
I’m sorry, but it’s vital that everyone stops what they’re doing a second, goes to Google and taps in ‘a long time ago in a galaxy far far away’ (sans the inverted commas). I’m hardly a Star Wars fan, but what I just saw was too awesome not to flag up on here. Mind you, I suspect it signifies the beginning of an all-out media barrage where Star wars is just about everywhere one looks.
As you might expect, I currently look for news of the new Star Trek series quite frequently. Every day or so, big trekkie that I am, I just punch it into Google to see if there’s anything new. Predictably, there’s not much to go on yet; the debate among most fans is over which universe it could be set in – the original which we all know and love, or the rebooted one began by JJ Abrams’ 2009 film. The question I find myself asking, though, is whether the new series could have a character with a disability in it. Back in 1966, the original series was revolutionary in having an african-american as a major character – Roddenberry’s future was one where race did not matter. I now wonder whether Trek could make a similarly powerful statement in terms of disability. Of course, TNG had Geordie Laforge, but his blindness was largely mitigated by his visor. Think what a statement could be made by having a starship plotted or even captained by a wheelchair user. Surely it could be just as powerful and resonant as having Nichelle Nichols on the bridge of the original Enterprise – it would send a huge message of acceptance and value. People will ask, of course, whether disability would exist in such a utopian future, but that is still seeing disability as something negative, a burden to be overcome rather than an aspect of human diversity. I like being who I am, Cerebral Palsy and all; and I would love to participate in a future where man explores the galaxy. Having a disabled person on the bridge of a starship would imply ‘we’ can contribute to the future as much as anyone else, and don’t need to be healed or fixed to do so. The question is, are the execs at Paramount ready to take that step?